Driving schools asked to follow new rules

DUBAI - The owners of driving schools, threatened by the recent set of strict rules issued by the Dubai Traffic Police Department, on Tuesday met top police officials and were told to follow the new regulations to become "accepted partners".

By (By a correspondent)

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Published: Wed 25 Feb 2004, 12:23 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:12 AM

But Brigadier Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director of the department, told the owners at the meeting held at the premises of the traffic police in Deira that violators of the new system would be penalised severely, and penalties would include total closure.

The police on Monday said schools with lower standards and capabilities, when compared with advanced-level institutes, should either provide better services or exit the market altogether.

The decision by the department was taken as Dubai Police moved ahead with the implementation of new conditions governing the licensing of driving schools in the emirate.

Brig. Al Zafeen said the new system was aimed at upgrading standards and this is in the interest of driving licence aspirants as well as driving schools. There are some 200 small driving schools operating in the emirate, along side four institutes only endorsed by the traffic authorities as offering advanced standard driving classes.

The police official acknowledged that some schools would find it difficult at the beginning to apply the new system and streamline their operations, but in the long run, he added, positive results will be reaped. Brig. Al Zafeen reviewed the organisational procedures endorsed recently, including the reasons to transfer the so-called "blue-collar" workers to model institutes and transfer of workers after failing the road test five times. The meeting also discussed completion of procedures by the end of 2005 and the conditions governing the setting up of driving schools and institutes as well as training hours.

"We look at these schools as partners, and we will give them all support, provided that they fulfil their commitments to society," said Brig. Al Zafeen. He urged school owners to change their attitude towards driving, from a traditional perspective to a comprehensive and primarily ethical concept that takes into consideration the protection of lives and property.

He warned schools against violating rules and said violations to the licence conditions would mean a suspension of the licence for three months. The period will be extended to six months on the second offence and to a total freeze of the licence on the third violation.

Licences, he said, will never be reissued, but that will be preceded by a warning to put things to rights at erring schools within a period of six months.

On Monday, the department said the new licensing system for institutes was put together in line with the changes taking place, especially in relation to a strong-paced privatisation trend.

Officials said low-standard skills by motorists who learnt at poor quality driving schools usually take long time before acquiring the licence, and when they do, they cause accidents because of their poor performance.

The new conditions include that a school or an institute should be owned by a UAE national and has to have a permit from the licensing authority to work in the field. The manager should have a record of good conduct. The entity should also have a plot of land to be prepared for driving classes. An engineering design for the school and its buildings should be presented, showing areas where theoretical and practical lessons would be given to applicants.

A statement showing vehicles to be used, and the minimum number of vehicles is 30 light vehicles. However, vehicles of other types will be subject to the management of the school or the institute. Learning expenses will also be specified in coordination with the licensing authority.

The new system will also make it compulsory for school managements to use only licensed vehicles.

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